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Gifts X800
Gypsy Caravan Built By Gordon Which Contains A Variety Of Gypsy Style Costumes For Dress Ups Small
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One Of Many Bug Houses Small
One Of The Quirky Signs For Insects In Bug City Garden Small
The Spiders Face Can Be Removed To Reveal A Hole To Put Your Face Through For Photos Small
Autumn Colours Small
Entering Eathlores Food Forest Where There Are Many Unusual Edibles Small
Plum Orchard, Earthlore, The Catlins NZ
Griffin On Lawn, Earthlore NZ
Bumble Bee Sculpture, Earthlore The Catlins, NZ
Steps Earthlore Garden
5 A Range Of Plants Are For Sale To Encourage Wildliife To Your Own Garden
3 Entrance To Earthlore
2 Insect Sculpture
1 Bug House
Entering Eathlores Food Forest Where There Are Many Unusual Edibles Small

private garden

Earthlore Wildlife Garden

129 Hinahina Road, Owaka, The Catlins, NZ 9586


Set on 10 acres in the beautiful Catlins, our garden has been evolving since we moved here in 2007, started madly planting what was then mostly bare paddocks, and we've not stopped yet.

Our focus has always been on looking after wildlife, with insects in particular, and raising awareness of how vital these little guys are to the planet. With this mission in mind, and with tongue firmly in cheek, we have developed Earthlore as not just a garden, but the setting for a variety of fun activities for children and adults alike, including Bug City garden - full of fun signage from a bug's perspective, the Food Forest - where you can also play a round of mini Frisbee Golf (like mini-golf but less serious), the Great Orlando's Magical Flea Circus Puppet Show, the insect conservation habitat, our on-site & online shop selling earth-friendly gifts, and friendly tui, bellbird, donkeys, sheep and geese to meet.

The Gardener

While most of the planting decisions are made by Janine, who has a passion for gardening and a background in horticulture, it's Gordon who has a keen interest in bugs and has even created an alter ego called Inspector Insector and written a book full of insect mysteries for children. It is also Gordon's quirky sense of humour and art background that can be seen in the colourful signage around the garden.

Garden Size

The garden is spread over 10 acres (4 hectares) of gently sloping land and is the setting for a variety of fun activities.


  • Price
    $10 per adult and $6-50 per child. Special rates for schools and group bookings.
  • Parking
    Yes - off-street parking for approximately 15 cars. Bus parking is available but we will need to be notified in advance.
  • Wheelchair Access
    Wheelchair access to the garden is limited due to the sloping nature of the property and the many grass paths.
  • Dogs allowed?
  • Food available?
    We have hot drinks available in bio-degradable takeaway cups.
  • Picnics
    You are welcome to pack a picnic and sit and enjoy the peace and beauty of Earthlore. There are picnic tables on-site. There are several places to buy food in Owaka which is only 5 minutes away by car.
  • Children allowed?
    Encouraging children to engage with the natural world is a big part of what we do. School Visits: We cater for school pupils of all ages including pre-school Our activities for children include: Bug City - Inspector-Insector will lead a tour of Bug City - a ½ acre interactive garden built especially for insects with lots of rocks (with letterboxes) for children to lift and look under and with different habitats to poke around in, and the Queen Bee of Bug City will be sitting on her throne. We have a nine target Frisbee Golf course with frisbees made of sponge rubber. There is a full-sized traditional Gypsy caravan on-site with costumes for dress-up and photo opportunities. Meet the resident donkeys, sheep and geese.
  • Toilets?
  • Seating
    There are several seats around the garden including picnic tables.
  • Plants/Sales
    We sell plants and wildflower seeds that will encourage wildlife to your own garden and a gift shop selling thoughtfully-sourced products, many of which we have designed ourselves. Most of our products are also available through our online shop.
  • Guided Tours
    We are an ideal choice for garden clubs and special interest groups. In addition to insect conservation, we provide inspiration and advice on gardening to attract wildlife, insects and birds. This includes personal tours through our Bug City gardens and Food Forest areas.


129 Hinahina Road, Owaka, The Catlins, NZ 9586

Only a few minutes from Owaka township on the road to Jack’s Bay